Slow but steady....and most importantly enjoyable

Since starting Wanikani with great gusto in March this year I have now decided to ‘durtle the scenic route’ and am finding it a much more rewarding and enjoyable ride.
I am only nearing the end of level 6 and only do 10 new lessons a day but what with the everyday pressures of life, as I progressed I was starting to feel overwhelmed and found myself easily forgetting all the earlier levels’ content which I felt I had pretty much mastered previously.
I had originally not wanted Wanikani to be my primary Japanese learning focus and wanted to spend more time studying the Japanese from Zero textbooks, which I find excellent, but was finding that wanikani was taking up all my brain power.
Feeling overwhelmed, but not wanting to quit, I set my Wanikani account to vacation mode for a few days just to review all earlier content and give myself confidence that I hadn’t in fact forgotten everything! This has been a real success for me and has definitely remotivated me. What is a few days delay in the big scheme of things, especially when I now feel more confident and enthusiastic to continue? I can see myself doing this now whenever I feel overwhelmed and lacking motivation… hopefully not too often but whatever it takes is surely better than burn out!
I just wanted to share this as it hadn’t occurred to me before and I was on the verge of stopping so I hope it helps. Happy learning everyone. :grin:


I started doing something like this early last year and it’s boosted my motivation a lot.
Until August or so last year, I was just trying to level as fast as possible. At one point I realised that I wasn’t taking much in long term, burnt out, took 2 months off then reset myself back to level 30.
These days I take it slow and steady while actually using the kanji reading skills I’ve learnt from Wanikani to enjoy actual Japanese resource.
It’s a difficult internal battle of “I can only read this because of Wanikani so I should go do more reviews” and “what’s the point of just using Wanikani if I’m not going to actually use the reading skills”
My self imposed review limit for work days is 50 and 100 for days off.
If I need to use vacation mode for any reason, I do without stressing about it.
I wish we could cap the maximum daily reviews officially but I guess there is a good reason why that isn’t possible (not sarcastic).

Anyway, rambling over. Just keep at it with your own pace and it’ll do more for you in the long run.


Thanks for that. It’s good to hear how others are learning and very inspirational. I would love to start Bunpro too alongside using JFZ textbooks and WK but I just couldn’t fit it in. I have started to read (or try to) the graded children’s books I saw recommended on the forum which has been fun. I am amazed at how much people are fitting into their day but definitely feel a slower approach to WK is better for me. Thanks again.


I dont know why but everytime i start something, i imagine my self going deep and beyond. I mean i picture my self being great and knowing a lot so i do the same as you, i just go deep and i am almost all my avaible time doing that, yesterday i started having headache for reading too much and also felt like i was going nowhere at the same time. High spectations and putting presure on yourself can be hard sometimes. I still dont know which is the good pace for me for learning but yesterday i didnt open wanikani and my headache was gone.
So i can relate with what you say. Im glad you found a pace that you know it works for you. I guess im here to say that you are not alone, i know how it feels. And at least for me i forget about the fun part and focus on the productive side, so that you keep it fun its really great.

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What you experience is quite normal while learning japanese or any other harder language.

Your choice of learning material is execellent for the start I think. Japanese from zero may not be as usefull in the long run but it keeps you motivated and together with the videos on youtube its extremely nice. I also recommend his channel to every new learner. The hardest part is to keep motivation high as this is a common turning point for everyone. Once you hit the wall of “omg its more than I thought”, you are likely to stop at all. Dont be scared. We all went through it.

Regarding WaniKani, It is one of the best tools out there to learn Kanji and has been improved over the years. The key is constant activity. If you feel overwhelmed, then stop doing new lessons for a while but never skip your reviews. You will see after 1 - 2 weeks that your review pile will go down drasticly if you dont do lessons and thats when you restart them again. Everyone has their own speed. No need to rush all 2100 Kanjis in 1 year. Give yourself the time you need.
It is very important to understand, that WK does NOT give you the ability to recall words and Kanjis on your own. It is there for recognition, as if you see it on a sign or book. You will be most likely be able to recognize it and maybe also know the word. But the actuall recall and ability to remember and speak out the word you want comes through practice and immersion. Read books, make japanese friends. WK is a great tool but to get where you want, you need immersion as well.

So as conclusion, try to never stop with WK until you feel comfortable with your Kanji knowledge. It doesnt matter how much you do a day if you just do something.
Keep yourself motivated, form goals, do something japanese related you really enjoy and be prepared for the point where everything feels too much and too hard. Like “omg it will take decades for me to understand everything”. It probably will though xD But once you passed this point, it gets much better and japanese learning will become a part of your life.
Be part of the community here and everywhere. Youre heartly welcomed!


Thank you everyone. Great advice and it is good to feel a part of the community with the same struggles and aspirations. I love learning Japanese so far even though I feel as if I am making very slow progress …but as you say any progress and action is better than none. Thank you all for wise words. :hugs: